Sunday, January 31, 2016

On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land

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I was up at 5 am today to chant for an hour before picking up three fellow practitioners to go to the Chicago Culture Center today. It was perfect, I left the house before 8, and we were at the Center by 9:00 in time to get a parking spot in the parking lot. Woohoo!

It was a lecture on 
"On Establishing the Correct Teaching 
for the Peace of the Land" 
Engaging in dialogues of hope 
to bring happiness and peace to all people.

There was a good discussion about slander of our own life and of others. It left me more determined than ever to grow as a human being and to be more aware of self-slander and slander of others. In Buddhism, as you know, we are all interconnected. (We are all worthy Buddhas. Slandering ourselves - doubting our capabilities, calling ourselves denigrating names) - or speaking behind people's backs - can take away all our good fortune. 

We need to have the courage and wisdom to speak TO people, not ABOUT be kind, of course, and to not harbor grudges against ANYONE. That's a tall order for all of us - and one worth chanting about. 

One of the leaders told a story about a district he was in where they were doing everything right...but slandering each other...and everyone's benefit was eroded. Important lessons. 

And we discussed having the courage to do shakubuku (introduce people to this practice) - which starts with Daimoku. That's how my new shakubuku Crystal came into my life...I chanted and she showed up with her great seeking spirit! I chanted to meet someone who is ready. and here she is! 
Today was her first time at the Chicago Culture Center. I chanted an hour yesterday for her, and another hour this morning just for her...she is just an inspiration to me. She worked until late last night and still came out this morning.

GO Buddha Go! 

I hope you are practicing with the SGI. If not, click on the link to the right to find a district in your area! 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

PowerPrayer to Appreciate and Praise YourSELF!

Your words DO have great power. 
Make sure when you speak to yourself 
that you use kind and loving words. 
Often we are hardest on our own selves, right? 

As far as I am concerned, society is always telling us what we are doing WRONG. School reinforces what is wrong with us. People who are insecure reinforce what is wrong with us. 
It is up to each one of us to reinforce what is RIGHT with us, and to switch our focus away from the feeling that we are guilty or bad. Changing our focus to the positive is at the core of revealing our own Buddha Nature. I love Buddhism, because its very focus is on what is RIGHT with us. THIS practice of Buddhism is a tool to get to the core of our remaking our vow to help others, we reveal our own highest and best nature. 

Of course, as we all know, the law of cause and effect operates in our lives all the time. If we focus our daimoku on what we are doing right, chant to make positive causes, and to reveal our Buddha Nature, we will see our environment change to reflect our inner changes. 

This is the core of our practice of Buddhism. The more we reveal our Buddha nature, the more our environment changes and the more desires we fulfill, and the more our resilence and strength grows. This practice is the KEY to Achieving our goals by changing from the inside out and changing our negative karma right here, right now. 

So, my ideas for changing a negatively focused life to a positively focused one follow:

1. Before you get out of bed in the morning think of at least 10 things you are grateful for. They can be anything from health to friendships to ANYTHING. What are you grateful for? I advised my sweet Mommy to do this when she was feeling depressed, and she said it entirely lifted her depression. This is one of those things that sounds like a good idea, but really, if you try it, it does make a difference. 

2. When you chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo every morning and evening, start with a feeling of gratitude. SUMMON gratitude. Work your spiritual muscle. Think of what you are grateful for, and make your own life, and your own self be part of that prayer. We are all so fortunate to have heard of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.  We are all fortunate to be practicing, to have a Gohonzon, and to be a part of the Soka Gakkai organization with our mentor Daisaku Ikeda and countless sincere members worldwide.  Bring forth that feeling of appreciation when you chant. 

3. Chant to reveal your Buddha nature. Chant to believe in the goodness within yourself. Chant to shine your life from within. Chant "I praise my life."

4. When you focus on your life being the actual proof that this practice works you will see benefit. When you focus on being an example that this practice works, and having your life and actions inspire others to begin chanting, you will see benefit flowing in all directions into your life. Chant to do shakubuku and help others become happy, and you will experience greater joy than ever before. 

5. Realize that you ARE the Buddha. You are the walking, talking embodiment of someone who is awakened to the law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This realization alone is a great cause for your happiness. Chant to see yourself as a Buddha and to feel yourself as the true Buddha you are. 

6. I chant to see the world through Daisaku Ikeda's eyes and to share his heart for Kosen Rufu. Sometimes when I chant I imagine him sitting here with me, and that our prayers for the happiness of all people are joined. 

Here is a PowerPrayer to help you reveal your glorious self, you true Buddhahood. You can read this before chanting, and absorb the parts that resonate with you. Then while you are chanting you may notice increased focus as you deeply chant with these thoughts, and your own thoughts and prayers flowing through your mind. 

Power Prayer 
for revealing your Buddha Nature 
and Appreciating YourSELF

"I chant to reveal the pure, sparkling Diamond
 of resilience, strength, wisdom and heart
 that lies within me. 
With every Daimoku, I chant to love myself more 
every single day. 
I chant that every cause I make, 
at every single moment of every single day 
leads me to see my Buddha nature. 
I chant that my Buddha Nature emerge 
and flow from my life touching everyone I see. 
I chant that I see my life 
as the brilliant sparkling Diamond that it is. 
I chant that throughout the day 
I say only nice words to myself. 
I chant to praise myself with my every thought. 
I chant to believe in my own goodness 
and to see it revealed in my actions. 
I pray to realize my life as the Buddha I am.
I see through the eyes of the Buddha, 
I feel President Ikeda's heart and spirit in all I do. 
I chant that those around me are inspired to begin chanting, just by seeing my happiness flow. 
I chant to meet the people who are looking for this law, 

and to be able to help them practice -  
for the rest of their lives!"

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How Do You Know When You're Chanting Enough Daimoku? Enough Nam-myoho-renge-kyo?

"How do you know when you're chanting enough Daimoku ? Enough Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo?

When you have no fear, 
when you are happy, 
when all obstacles look like opportunities, not problems, 
THAT'S when you are chanting enough Daimoku. 
If you are afraid, or worried...or troubled, it's time to sit down and chant more. 
Chant for peace of mind. 
Chant to be happy and serene. 
Chant to have victory in all areas of your life. 
I know sometimes it's hard. 
I know it's difficult to focus, and sometimes the people around us are interrupting us and wanting our attention. 
I know it can be hard to put that cell phone down and focus on your own life and chant with all your heart. 

But my promise, and Nichiren Daishonin's promise, and Daisaku Ikeda's promise is that you CAN become happy...happier than you ever imagined...if you devote yourself to this practice. 
There is no doubt. 

But the key is you have to do it! 

No one else can purify your life besides you. 

No one can chant for you like YOU can chant for you. 

You are the only one. 

And you would not be reading this if you were not capable of chanting your happiness into being. 

You can do it! 

You absolutely can be happy. 

You must summon the power within your life with the most incredible key of life... Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo.

Jamie Lee Silver

"When a single sun rises, everything is illuminated."
Daisaku Ikeda

Monday, January 25, 2016

3 Essential Steps to Turning Poison into Medicine

We Nichiren Buddhists live by the phrase "Turning Poison into Benefit." We see each difficulty as an opportunity to create something wonderful from it. Except when we don't. It's sometimes hard to see the benefit that will come from a suffering. Sometimes we think the suffering will last forever. But I can assure you - with my life as an example, that we CAN turn all poison, all bad events into benefits. 

And remember  ~ we are not here to MASTER SUFFERING! We are here to be happy, and help the whole world be happier!

When I saw today's Gosho quote I just had to smile: 

"I explained the teachings of the Lotus Sutra 
to you before. 
Matters of minor importance arise from good, 
but when it comes to matters of great importance, 
great disaster without fail changes into great fortune."

(WND, 824)
A warning against begrudging One's Fief, 
Written to Shijo Kingo in July 1271

My life is certainly proving this to be true, in all ways. As many of you know, I am a 30-year practitioner of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism, and I write this blog to show the proof of this practice through my life. I'm an enthusiastic SGI member, and this blog comes straight from my heart. It took me many years to find this practice, and I write to help people find it, and to encourage us all to continue and forge on! 

I experienced the "greatest disaster" possible for a mother last summer, when after three years of trying to save my younger son's life, he lost it to the disease of Schizophrenia on July 2nd, 2015. (Yes, he "took his own life", but he would not have done that without the disease in his brain) 

I wrote many blogs from July 4th on, sharing his music and my spirit to turn poison into medicine no matter what. And in my heart, I knew I could do this. But, as his loving mother, I knew the grieving process would be intense. 

Sometimes it can be hard to imagine that a positive experience will come from something negative, but I can give you some hope for turning around the negatives. I have found there are 3 keys. 

Key #1
Forge Fearlessly Ahead and DO NOT give in to DOUBT! 
in other words keep chanting, keep living, keep going. Stengthen your faith more than ever...not in spite of hardships, but because of them. Stengthen your determination to be the Buddha you ARE! Study. Do Shakubuku. Use your faith! 

Key #2
Accept help. 
I have had people here chanting with me consistently. I accept the support, and those people are winning too! Embrace your friends in this organization. And if you don't have any - find them...determine to make friends in faith. Chant about this too!  

Key #3
Sometimes you just have to tough it out. Relief may be just around the corner. 
This has been a tough winter. It's been hard for me to write at times. Just before Christmas, my car died. My beloved Acura CL 2001 died. It requires $2500 to rebuild the transmission, and it's not even worth I've been driving Ben's car, and I've been grateful to have it. But I realized a few weeks ago that using his car was messing up my body. The location of the gear shift and the pedals caused my neck, back and legs to go all out of wack. 
My entire body has been in pain - I could barely walk. Thankfully, I'm now borrowing Aaron's car while I shop for cars. 

And here's the benefit:

I have long known I had neck problems that have been causing me all sorts of pain...pain in my hands, my back, my knee, my name it! 
This week I reconnected with my nephew in Florida. He's a special kind of Chiropractor who concentrates on upper cervical work. I've always wanted to have this type of treatment, but it seemed out of reach financially. 
Last week he told me about a doctor here in Chicago who went to school with him. On Saturday, I went in, got the first treatment and feel the first relief I've felt in a long time. We are on the verge of actually correcting the problem. 

So, you see, if my car had not broken down (a "poison"), I would not have been in the pain that led me to seek this treatment (a benefit). But as I've been going through this pain, I must admit, I have not been thinking of it as a benefit. 

SO, If you have a poison you are going through....just KEEP GOING! Don't stop. You will get to the other side. I promise. If you don't give up! 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New Year Quotes By Louise Hay

Affirmations for the new year by Louise Hay ❤

1. I begin today by loving and accepting every part of myself, inside and out, exactly as I am.

2. Today, I look for the beauty in everyone and everything.

3. Today, whenever I need anything, I know that it will be provided.

4. I am grateful for all the good that is coming my way.

5. Today I take a moment to count my blessings.

6. When I think of others, I affirm that they are happy and healthy and that all is well in their world.

7. Abundance comes to me from expected and unexpected sources, and I express gratitude for all of it.

8. I now allow new and wonderful things to come into my life. I am open and receptive to all that is good.

9. Change and surprise are evident everywhere I go today. I look with delight at all I see.

10. My friends are loving and supportive.

11. Everyone in my family is Divinely protected at all times.

12. Loving others is easy when I love and accept myself.

13. Humor and joy contribute to my overall well-being.

14. Compliments are gifts of prosperity. I have learned to accept them graciously.

15. Today I give myself permission to do whatever gives me the most pleasure.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Generating "Earnest Resolve" and Making Each Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Count!

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How do we approach our lives powerfully? 
How do we make each moment count? 
How do we generate "earnest resolve"?

We KNOW that each moment contains the seed and power of the entire universe within our lives (ichinen sanzen) We KNOW THIS MOMENT is important. What do we need to harness and activate and use this knowledge with every fiber of our being? Here are some insights from the September Gosho study on the Gift of Rice:

The Gosho, the Gift of Rice states: 
"When we carefully consider what exactly "earnest resolve" refers to, it is the doctrine of observing the mind." 
(From the Gift of Rice by Nichiren Daishonin, Living Buddhism September 2015, page 29)

President Ikeda states "Everything is determined by the direction in which our "earnest resolve" orients our minds. When we focus our "earnest resolve" on our Buddhist practice, believing and practicing the Mystic Law that enables all people to attain enlightenment, our inner Buddhahood reveals itself, pervading our lives and the environment." 
LB, 9/15, page 38

How powerfully can earnest resolve work in our lives? 

Akeymi Bailey Haynie, our National SGI Leader said one day she heard her mother cry out from a nightmare, and realized that her mother had been having nightmares every night. (Her mother is a survivor of the WWII bombings in Japan). Akeymi developed a deep resolve in her heart and sat down and chanted 15 minutes of focused Daimoku that her mother would NEVER AGAIN have another nightmare. She reached that level of "now or never" or "NO WAY!" that is so powerful, and her Mom never had another nightmare. 

We all have this power in our lives. Sensei tells us this every day. When we are in front of the Gohonzon it is up to us to summon this resolve, and to focus our minds.

We all have this power! Today I offer you: 

PowerPrayer to Ignite and Focus
Our Inner Resolve
by Jamie Lee Silver from

Now it the crucial moment! 
While I am chanting I am drawing a line in the sand! 
I am changing this KARMA Forever - 
I am rooting the cause from my life now! 
This shall happen:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
and/or THIS shall STOP happening:________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I NOW summon all the power vested in me as a worthy votary of the Lotus Sutra. 
My life is Powerful!
My daimoku is Powerful

Shoten Zenjin activate your forces NOW! 
Each Daimoku summons my power!
Each Daimoku has an effect NOW
For the sake of World Peace, I ignite my vow!
I will show actual proof -  inspire myself, inspire others, 
and change the world! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Gohonzon is Not Outside Us !

From the Power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo ~ Very Powerful!


I find that so many people still chant to the Gohonzon as if it were some God or some force outside of themselves. The attitude with which we chant, and the attitude with which we view the Gohonzon is most important, because if we have a distorted view, we will have a distorted practice, and it is that distorted practice and view, that we will teach to others.
We know from study that the characters on the Gohonzon represent the two sides of life and all of the positive/negative attributes that exist within life, including that fundamental darkness that coexists within every human life. Nichiren Daishonin says that there is no life that has one without the other. The characters representing both aspects of life are written on the Gohonzon. For me what is exciting is to know, that even without my being able to read it, Nichiren Daishonin wrote all of these characters on the Gohonzon, which represent every aspect of life, in such a way that every character is looking at the centre just like you and me. Every character is looking at Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Think about the Ceremony in the Air. Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the axis of the universe and we’re forming a circle around that axis.
All of us are looking at Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. It is the centre that every character is looking at. Why? It is because Nichiren Daishonin is giving us a continual message every time we look at the Gohonzon. The message is that we must base our life on the Law and never on the person. It is the mystic law that has enabled every Buddha throughout eternity to be able to manifest their fullest potential, and that it is the key, which is the centre, for everything. We have to make Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo the centre of our life and we have to base our life on Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. It means being able to see and to hear ourselves. It means that whenever we are facing a problem, we don’t just try to use our brain to figure it out, or strategise how to fix it. Many members still do this, and after they have racked their brain as to what to do in order to get from Point A to Point B or to fix the problem, they then chant the solution to the Gohonzon to make it work!. I think that this is practising incorrectly. Let me tell you why.
When we talk about the nine levels of consciousness, the first five are our senses. Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste and Touch. The sixth level is the conscious mind. The seventh is the unconscious mind. The eighth level is what we call the karma storage area, which is that area in our life that has accumulated every cause we have ever made throughout all existences. Below that is the ninth level of consciousness, which Buddhism says, is the one pure, unchanging reality of our life.
Every single one of us has fortune and lack of fortune in our life. In the areas in which we have fortune, we can do the same things we see other people do and we can achieve our goals but in the areas of your life where you lack fortune, you can do the identical thing you see your neighbour doing, but the object of your desire seems to move further and further away, right?
When we are dealing with problems in our lives, they have a causal connection to us. Many times they come from that place in our life where we lack fortune. And so, if we use our brain to strategize how to fix things, our brain can only go to the eighth level of consciousness, which is the karma storage. That is the area which stores up and accumulates all of the causes we have ever made, and it’s seems to be the place in which; WE DO NOT SEEM TO HAVE FORTUNE . Our brain then devises a solution based on lack of fortune. By following this “mental” solution, we will keep reinforcing the same pattern of karmic tendencies over and over in our lives.
But what Nichiren teaches is that by chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo you can pierce through the eighth level of karma storage. Pierce through it, be unaffected by it, and you can reach the pure unchanging reality and infinite wisdom of your life that is unaffected by karma storage. That answer is the correct answer for your life. It’s not affected by your karma in the area in which you lack fortune. And this is why I believe Nichiren Daishonin says we must become the master of our mind rather than allowing our mind to master us.
My point is this; when we pray, we need to start from a determination such as: “I will accomplish X,” (whatever X is). We also have to understand from Buddhism that we create our life every moment through our thoughts, our words, and our behavior. Prayer in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is profoundly different from prayer in other religions. We are not praying to something outside of ourselves to bestow something on us. Instead, our prayer here is the determination that; “I will create the object or thing that I am praying for through my causes of thought, words, and actions. I am the creator of my life and I will take the responsibility to create the thing that I am praying for, and that after I have chanted this kind of determined daimoku, I will accomplish X.” I then must come to a realization… “How in the world am I going to do this? That answer only exists inside of my life. I can tap my wisdom for the answer when I have the belief and conviction, that the answer exists inside of me.” And I start chanting with the determination to pull that wisdom up from within my life to clearly see what it is that I need to do in order to create the thing that I’m praying for. That is why President Ikeda says:
“Benefit comes from you. Nobody gives you benefit.”
Excerpt - The Art of listening with the eyes of a Buddha
By Linda Johnson, SGI-USA WD Leader

Sunday, January 17, 2016

PowerPrayer for Awakening Our Own Buddha Nature

Today's Daily Guidance from "For Today and Tomorrow" by Daisaku Ikeda: 


Please remember that patience is in and of itself 
a great challenge, 
and that it often holds the key 
to breaking through a seeming impasse
I just finished a wonderful hour of studying 
"The Heart of the Lotus Sutra" by Daisaku Ikeda. 
(Available at - you can click on the portal to the right). 
As a fellow SGI member and lover of this practice (not as an official representative of the SGI) I share my thoughts here with you:   

"The Heart of the Lotus Sutra" is truly the story of our lives. In the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni reveals that he did not attain enlightenment in his present lifetime as so many people assume. (And as Shakyamuni said in earlier sutras) 
In the Lotus Sutra he reveals that he attained enlightenment in "beginningless time" and that we, as practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism also attained enlightenment in beginningless time, and are fulfilling our vow to come to this world and show everyone the path to happiness by using the example of our own lives, never being defeated, and overcoming every obstacle.  

Once we are awakened to the fact that we are Buddhas equal to the original Buddha, we can embrace every challenge with fresh eyes, saying to ourselves 

"Yes! I chose this challenge. 
I chose this because I KNOW 
that I can chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo 
and absolutely, without a doubt I can change this.
It is up to me. 
I have the power to tap into the vast resources within, 
as long as I stay focused on my mission for kosen-rufu." 

Each of us can awaken every day with the ability to access the reality that we are Boddhisatvas of the Earth ~ Dancing in happiness ~ assured of our own power to overcome anything in our lives, through reading President Ikeda's words, chanting, refreshing our determination and knowing, absolutely knowing that we chose this existence to manifest our highest potential. 

This might not be our first thought upon awakening - but we can access it in front of the Gohonzon every single morning!

What kind of PowerPrayer (thoughts in our minds while we are chanting) would be useful?  
Let's look at a few of Sensei's quotes from "The Heart of the Lotus Sutra,"

"The Buddha's original state of life is identical with all people's original state of life. They could not be in any way different. Fundamentally, all people are Buddhas. The only difference is that the Buddha understands this while others are ignorant of it. " p. 153

When we realize that we are Buddhas from beginningless time "We can attain a state of eternal happiness as indestructible as a diamond~that is, the true aspect of the Buddha ~ in our lives." and that "No matter how heavy our burden of karma, through tapping our inner life force, we can revolutionize our existence." p. 163. 
"It enables us to address the reality of our situations with a fresh, forward-looking spirit, always basing ourselves on life's "original moment." 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sensei goes on to quote Josei Toda who talks about how we all dwelt together as Buddhas of absolute happiness before making our vows to return to this world and lead others to happiness. 

We are all here fulfilling our vow joyously together. 

What problem could stop us? 
Could financial difficulty stop us?...not unless we let it. 
How about heartbreak, a karma many of us are challenging? Every day I chip away at my karma right along with you. And every day I awaken refreshed...when I study, chant, encourage others and go to SGI meetings. We have such precious lives. People are depending on us to shine. We ARE the suns in our lives! 

PowerPrayer for
Awakening Our Own Buddha Nature!
By Jamie Lee Silver, from the Blog 

Once again I greet you in front of the Gohonzon! 
I appreciate one more day in this world of strife! 
Once again I strive at every moment 
to bring forth the world of Buddhahood within. 
Right now I am raising my life condition! 
I am determined to live in wisdom, 
tapping the highest potential in my life. 
I am determined to harmonize with my fellow humans 
in a way that makes a difference. 
I am determined to be all I can be, 
and fulfill my vow for kosen-rufu! 
(Happiness and respect for all of life - 
the raising of the life-condition of ALL)
I am determined to forge ahead 
with wisdom, happiness and composure. 
May I live this day fully and happily, 
and shine like the sun! 
I am determined to_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

as I joyously bring forth my Buddhahood! 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

What Does Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Mean and Why Do We Chant It? Please Share!

What does Nam-myoho-renge-kyo mean, 
and why do we chant it? 

By Jamie Lee Silver of - 

(Subscribe by putting your email in the box to the right. 
Translate button is at the top right.)

The literal translation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is:

"I fuse my life 
with the Mystic Law of cause and effect 
through sound vibration (or sutra)." 

It is the title of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha's highest teaching that declares that ALL people possess the Buddha Nature...all people ARE Buddhas...and we can access this nature by calling it forth in our lives 
by chanting this phrase. 

Being a Buddha - 
is tapping the river of life that runs through ALL life - summoning the mystic law 
by realizing 
we ARE the Mystic Law...being in rhythm with all we desire...and staying determined to create value for our own lives and the lives of others through our practice.
We not only chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo ~ 
we ARE Nam-myoho-renge-kyo ~the Mystic Law. 

I like to think of it as "I am one with the rhythm of all life." It is the rhythm that exists within all of life...the reason for the turning of the tides...the reason for the seasons...the atoms that exist within every single cell...from an elephant to a spec of the cells in our hearts and minds. Everything possesses this connectedness...this rhythm.  
It is all encompassing and contains the wisdom and energy of all of life itself...the whole universe. 

When we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo we tap into that energy and access it for our lives...and we direct it towards our desires and for the fulfillment of happiness for all. In this practice, it's okay to have desires. More than okay! We don't have to alleviate them. Desires make us who we are and lead us to chant. 

When we chant 
we change the internal life within our lives. 
We change the core and fiber of our lives. 
We change our karma. 
And when we make that internal change, 
our ENVIRONMENT (everything that is not within our own skin, our jobs, our relationships, our sense of self, everything we experience and think) 
ALL of that changes to reflect our internal change. 
We call this "Human Revolution."

When we chant we harness the energy that is our birthright. And we chant twice a day, every single day, to get and keep our lives in rhythm. 

When we are in rhythm we are in the right place at the right time... to find out about and get the job...or to meet the man of our dreams...or to protect our child from danger. When we are in rhythm life isn't so much of a struggle as it is a joy...we see the beauty in everything and we feel our lives overflowing with appreciation. 

We chant for something and get it or something better. We get access to internal happiness and strength that cannot be blown away by any event or obstacles. And we do get obstacles when we chant. 

In fact, we view obstacles themselves as benefits, as strange as that may sound....because obstacles make us chant more, and when we chant more we draw even higher life conditions and deeper satisfaction into our lives. 

What can we chant FOR? 
Anything. Make sure to write your list, and rewrite it when you achieve those goals.

We chant for others, we chant for our planet, our countries, and ourselves. 
We can chant for whatever our desire may be...even if it might not be the "right" desire for us. In the act of chanting, we will change our karma and our desires themselves will naturally begin to shift. We will open our lives to the deeper wisdom within...the deeper yearning, the REAL desires that we have forgotten or given up on. We will grow. We will prosper and we will blossom. 

We will gain the wisdom of the right action to take - because ACTION springs from wisdom. 

The challenge is...we need to DO it. We have to chant to bring all this rhythm and harmony out. And that's why we practice together as an organization, the SGI, The Soka Gakkai, our fellowship of friends who support each other, chant for each other, and create a new Soka family for each practitioner. We are so fortunate. 

I hear from people all over the world, and some have strong SGI groups in their towns and others are completely alone. I love that we can connect through the power of the internet. From the moment I began chanting 30 years ago I have had the deep desire to share this practice, this practice that WORKS, with everyone who is looking for the real, practical means of creating happiness and results in their lives. 

We are in this life together...sharing our challenges and our successes. If you are not yet connected to the SGI please go to and find your local members. You will be so glad you did. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Some Powerful Quotes from Daisaku Ikeda:

THIS moment, this instant, is important, 
not some unknown time in the future. 
Today, this very day is what matters. 
You must put your whole being 
into the time that exists now. 
For future victory rests in the present moment.

BUDDHISM holds that 

everything is in a constant state of flux. 
Thus, the question is 
whether we are to accept change passively 
and be swept away by it, 
or whether we are to take the lead 
and create positive changes on our own initiative. 
While conservatism and self-protection
might be likened to winter, night and death, 

the spirit of pioneering and attempting to realize 
the ideals evokes the images of spring,
morning and birth.

Do gongyo and chant daimoku with a fresh spirit. 

And, filled with renewed vitality, 
build a history of accumulating fresh benefit.

All quotes from

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Buddhist Concept of Wisdom

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We chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo  ~  which means 

"I fuse my life 
with the mystic law of cause and effect 
through sound vibration." 

We pray for exactly what we want. This is the one form of Buddhism that says we can keep our desires, and make the world a happier place through achieving them. 

We pray for our lives to blossom forth with happiness, so that others can see an example of a truly happy life (no matter what obstacles we may face! We turn all poison into medicine) with the end goal of "kosen-rufu" a world of peace and respect for all living beings. 

Wisdom is a natural outcome of this prayer.  

Through creating our own happiness we are transforming the world. This is the essence of the Soka Gakkai (SGI). You can click on the link to the right to find out more. What follows is a passage on the Buddhist view of Wisdom. Enjoy! 


Buddhist Concepts – Wisdom....

A Buddha is characterized as a person of profound wisdom. The idea of wisdom is core to Buddhism.  But wisdom can be a vague and elusive concept, hard to define and harder to find.  How does one become wise?  Is wisdom something that we can actively develop, or must we merely wait to grow wiser as we grow older?  Perhaps it is because wisdom is such an indistinct concept that it has lost value as a relevant ideal in modern society, which has instead come to place great store in information and the attainment of knowledge.

Josei Toda, second president of the Soka Gakkai, characterized the confusion between knowledge and wisdom as one of the major failings of modern society.

His critique is starkly demonstrated in the astonishing progress of technology in the last century. While scientific and technological development has shown only a mixed record of alleviating human suffering, it has triumphed remarkably in its ability and efficiency in unleashing death and destruction.

Toda likened the relationship between knowledge and wisdom to that between a pump and water. A pump that does not bring forth water (knowledge without wisdom) is of little use.

This is not to deny the importance of knowledge. But knowledge can be utilized to generate both extreme destructiveness and profound good.

Wisdom is that which directs knowledge toward good--toward the creation of value.

Buddhist teachings, such as the concept of the five kinds of wisdom, describe and analyze in detail the dynamics of wisdom and how it manifests at different levels of our consciousness.

When wisdom is functioning in our life, it has the effect of enabling us to overcome the ingrained perspectives of our habitual thinking and arrive at a fresh and holistic view of a given situation. We are able to make a broad assessment of facts, perceive the essence of an issue and steer a sure course toward happiness.

Buddhism also likens wisdom to a clear mirror that perfectly reflects reality as it is. What is reflected in this mirror of wisdom is the interrelatedness and interdependence of our life with all other life. This wisdom dispels our delusions of separateness and awakens in us a sense of empathetic equality with all living things.

The term "Buddha" describes a person who freely manifests this inherent wisdom. And what causes this wisdom to well forth in our lives is compassion.

Buddhism sees the universe, and life itself, as an embodiment of compassion--the interweaving of the "threads" of interdependent phenomena, giving rise to and nurturing life in all its wonderful and varied manifestations.

It teaches that the purpose of human life is to be an active participant in the compassionate workings of the universe, enriching and enhancing life's creative dynamism.
Therefore, it is when we act with compassion that our life is brought into accord with the universal life force and we manifest our inherent wisdom. The action of encouraging and sharing hope with others awakens us to a larger, freer identity beyond the narrow confines of our ego. Wisdom and compassion are thus inseparable.
Central to Buddhist practice is self-mastery, the effort to "become the master of one's mind.  "This idea implies that the more profoundly we strive to develop an altruistic spirit, the more the wisdom of the Buddha is aroused within us and the more powerfully we can, in turn, direct all things--our knowledge, our talents and the unique particularities of our character--to the end of creating happiness for ourselves and others.

Speaking at Tribhuvan University in Nepal in 1995, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda commented, "To be master of one's mind means to cultivate the wisdom that resides in the inner recesses of our lives, and which wells forth in inexhaustible profusion only when we are moved by a compassionate determination to serve humankind, to serve people."
If human history is to change and be redirected from division and conflict toward peace and an underlying ethic of respect for the sanctity of all life, it is human beings themselves who must change. The Buddhist understanding of compassionate wisdom can serve as a powerful basis for such a transformation.

[ Courtesy January 2003 SGI Quarterly]